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Taliban attack convoy, threatening Pakistan deal

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A Pakistani army tank patrols in Buner district, where troops recently launched an offensive against militants May 3, 2009. Pakistani security forces killed 16 Taliban militants after coming under attack in a volatile tribal region on the Afghan border on Saturday, the military said. REUTERS/Stringer (PAKISTAN POLITICS MILITARY)
Taliban attack convoy, threatening Pakistan deal
AP/Yahoo | May 04, 2009 | By ZARAR KHAN
ISLAMABAD – Taliban militants attacked an army convoy Monday in a northwestern region covered by an increasingly fragile peace pact, killing one soldier and dealing another blow to an agreement seen in the West as a capitulation to extremists.
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Pakistani army officers and scientists stand alongside the long-range ballistic missile, Shaheen II, or Hatf VI, before the test flight at an undisclosed location in April 2008. Faced with a surge of Islamic militant activity in Pakistan, the US government is increasingly concerned about the potential vulnerability of the country?s nuclear arsenal, The New York Times reported. (AFP/ISPR/Ho/File)
Displaced people from Pakistan’s Swat valley leave the region on May 2. A peace deal in Pakistan appears close to unravelling as authorities threatened to resume military action while armed Taliban patrolled a key town in defiance of a curfew. (AFP/File/Tariq Mahmood)

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Two American soldiers shot dead by uniformed Iraqi: US

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Grim: The body of a U.S. soldier lies on the ground in Baghlan October 27, 2008. A suicide bomber dressed in a police uniform blew himself up in a police station in Pul-i-Khumri
Two American soldiers shot dead by uniformed Iraqi: US
AFP | May 02, 2009 |
Two American soldiers were shot dead and three more were wounded on Saturday when an Iraqi wearing army uniform opened fire on them south of the northern town of Mosul, the US military said.

“According to initial reports, an individual dressed in an Iraqi army uniform fired on the Coalition forces and was killed in the incident” around 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Mosul, the statement said.
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Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued

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“VeraSight™ Global (VSG) represents the user interface for the government and public health application of Foreshadow™, Veratect’s comprehensive emerging disease risk operating environment. VeraSight™ Global (VSG), represents a leap forward in the early detection and actionable alert generation of infectious disease risk events worldwide. Moreover, VeraSight™ Global provides early warning for both human and animal diseases that threaten regional and/or global security and economic health.”

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Company warned officials of flu 18 days before alert was issued
McClatchy Newspapers | May 01, 2009 | By Les Blumenthal
WASHINGTON — A Washington state biosurveillance firm raised the first warning about a possible outbreak of swine flu in Mexico more than two weeks before the World Health Organization offered its initial alert about a public health emergency of international concern.

Both federal and international health officials had access to the warning from Veratect Corp. Later e-mails calling attention to the company’s subsequent report that the disease was possibly spreading in Mexico were sent to 10 o
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Related Links
Veratect
Vertect press release (pdf)

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Experts unveil African gene study

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A map shows human migration routes beginning about 100,000 years ago, based on mitochondrial (yellow) and Y-chromosome (blue) DNA evidence collected by the National Geographic Society’s Genographic Project and other sources.
Experts unveil African gene study
BBC | Apr 30, 2009 |
A group of scientists have unveiled what they say is the most comprehensive study ever of African genes.

Published following a decade of study, the researchers say their findings give new insight into the origins of humans.
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China reveals big rise in gold reserves

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photo courtesy of California Geological Survey – Educational Resources Center (see links).
China reveals big rise in gold reserves
FT dot com (Financial Times UK) | Apr 24, 2009 | By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing and Javier Blas in London
China has quietly almost doubled its gold reserves to become the world’s fifth-biggest holder of the precious metal, it emerged on Friday, in a move that signals the revival of bullion after years of fading importance.
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Related Links
California Geological Survey – Educational Resourc

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Beware surfers: cyberspace is filling up

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(Pictured: Cyberspace)

courtesy Village Voice Media

Beware surfers: cyberspace is filling up
The Sunday Times (UK) | Apr 26, 2009 | John Harlow
Internet users face regular “brownouts” that will freeze their computers as capacity runs out in cyberspace, according to research to be published later this year.

Experts predict that consumer demand, already growing at 60 per cent a year, will start to exceed supply from as early as next year because of more people working online and the soaring popularity of bandwidth-hungry websites such as YouTube and services such as the BBC’s iPlayer.
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ABC News: Public’s Support For Pot Legalization Has Never Been Higher!

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Image courtesy InterBent dot com (see links).
ABC News: Public’s Support For Pot Legalization Has Never Been Higher!
NORML | Apr 30, 2009 | Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Earlier this year, a NORML-commissioned national Zogby telephone poll revealed that a record 44 percent of American voters — including nearly six out of ten adults on the west coast — now believe that cannabis should be “taxed and legally regulated like alcohol and cigarettes.”
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Related Links
Pot Legalization Goes Mainstream

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Germany readies for fiery May Day protests

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Protestors argue with riot police after a May Day march in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district in 2008.

AFP photo

Germany readies for fiery May Day protests
AFP | Apr 29, 2009 |
BERLIN (AFP) — Germany is bracing for its biggest May Day protests in years amid fears of a rise in social unrest caused by the worst recession since World War II in Europe’s biggest economy.

An estimated 50,000 jobs are being lost every month in Germany, and the government is forecasting that output will slump by more than five percent this year, second only to Japan among major economies.
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Mexico Senate OKs bill to legalize drug possesion

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Mexican Flag – Credit: Esparta/Flickr

According to senior Harvard economics professor Jeffrey A. Miron, the only way to end the present drug violence in Mexico is to legalize drugs.

What do you think? Please leave a comment…

Mexico Senate OKs bill to legalize drug possesion
Reuters | Apr 28, 2009 |
MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) – Mexico’s Senate approved a bill on Tuesday decriminalizing possession of small amounts of narcotics for personal use, in order to free resources to fight violent drug cartels.

The bill, proposed by conservative President Felipe Calderon, would make it legal to carry up to 5 grams (0.18 ounces) of marijuana, 500 milligrams (0.018 ounces) of cocaine and tiny quantities of other drugs such as heroin and methamphetamines.
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Economy in U.S. Shrank at 6.1% Rate in First Quarter

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Economy in U.S. Shrank at 6.1% Rate in First Quarter
Bloomberg | Apr 29, 2009 | By Bob Willis
The U.S. economy plunged again in the first quarter, capping its worst performance in five decades, reflecting a record slump in inventories and further declines in housing.

Gross domestic product dropped at a 6.1 percent annual pace, more than forecast, after contracting at a 6.3 percent rate in the last three months of 2008, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The report, which marked the weakest six months since 1957-58, comes as Federal Reserve policy makers meet for a seco
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